LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
BP Waives $75M Cap For Some Oil Spill Claims

NEW ORLEANS - (AP) BP PLC informed a federal judge Monday that the company is waiving a $75 million cap on its liability for certain economic damage claims spawned by the massive Gulf oil spill. In a court filing, BP lawyers said the company is waiving the statutory limitation on liability. . . . Full...

James C. Moore On Bacardi 151 Rum: An Inherently Dangerous Product?

By James C. Moore In Sclafani v. Brother Jimmy's BBQ, Inc., et al. , the New York Supreme Court addressed two fundamental questions: (i) is Bacardi 151 Rum defectively designed because it is highly flammable and (ii) is the removal of the safety device from the bottle an unforeseeable, post-manufacturer...

Texas High Court Modifies Standards For Attorneys' Fees In Tort, Contract Actions

By William V. Dorsaneo III In Tony Gullo Motors I, L.P. v. Chapa , the Texas Supreme Court modified the standards for the recoverability of attorney's fees in cases involving tort and contract theories of liability. No longer can parties rely on the argument that the causes of action in a suit...

Libby, Montana, Asbestos Victims Consider $43 Million Settlement

BILLINGS, Mont. - (AP) More than 1,100 victims of asbestos contamination are nearing a $43 million settlement over claims that Montana health officials failed to warn miners about the hazards of a deadly vermiculite mine, documents in the case show. Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands sickened...

Ninth Circuit rules that owners of storm water systems (e.g., cities, counties, districts) are liable for discharges of polluted stormwater into rivers and ocean

It is well known that stormwater gathers a variety of pollutants as it flows across the landscape and even through stormwater drainage systems. See, for example, http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=6 and http://www.epa.gov/owow_keep/NPS/index.html . In NRDC v. County of Los Angeles, Ninth...

Duane Morris LLP Alert: New Pennsylvania Law Limits Joint And Several Liability

On June 28, 2011, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law Senate Bill 1131 ; and in doing so, the future of joint and several liability in Pennsylvania was reduced to a list of exceptions. The new law provides that "where liability is attributed to more than one defendant, each defendant shall...

75 NFL Retirees Sue League Over Concussions

LOS ANGELES - (AP) Mark Duper, Ottis Anderson and 73 other former players sued the National Football League, claiming it concealed information about the danger of concussions for decades. The negligence, fraud and liability suit was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court. Many players' wives...

Liability Without Culpability: A Deeply Troublesome Trend

One of the most basic notions in our legal system is that liability attaches only to those who act with intent or knowledge. But as detailed in a front-page September 27, 2011 Wall Street Journal article ( here ), Congress has in recent decades enacted numerous provisions imposing criminal liability...

New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition Cited by Missouri Supreme Court

The Missouri Supreme Court cited the chapter written by Douglas Richmond on agent and broker liability in the New Appleman on Insurance Law Library Edition several times in Emerson Electric Co. v. Marsh & McLennan Cos., 362 S.W.3d 7 (Mo. 2012) , a closely watched case in the brokerage community....

Arizona Golf Club Liable for 129 Form I-9 Violations: USA v. Golf International

"Golf International d.b.a. Desert Canyon Golf is liable for a total of 129 violations of 8 U.S.C. § 1324a(a)(1)(B). ... Liability is established for all the violations alleged in the complaint. ICE may have until April 16, 2014 to file its penalty request and Golf’s response may be filed...

PMA v. Aetna: Straight From The Horse’s Mouth: PMA’s Lawyer Still At It Nearly 60 Years Later

As mentioned in the July 23rd issue of Coverage Opinions , the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s 1967 decision in PMA v. Aetna, [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], has long-been a controversial one. The decision holds that the Employer’s Liability exclusion (even when it says...

Ewing’s Undoing’s Ungluing: Appeals Court Follows Ewing And Holds That Contractual Liability Exclusion Precludes Coverage For Construction Defect Claim

In January, the Supreme Court of Texas, in easily one of the most important coverage cases of 2014, held in Ewing Construction Co. v. Amerisure Insurance Co., [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], that the “contractual liability” exclusion, contained in a CGL policy, did...

Underinsured Motorist Not Effected by Governmental Liability Cap – Underinsured Motorist Coverage Is to Assure Insurance Coverage

This case arises from a collision between a vehicle driven by Barry Hunt and a snow plow owned by Dane County. Wisconsin and operated by a county employee. Barry Hunt and his wife, Ashley Hunt, had a motor vehicle liability policy with State Farm Mutual Insurance Co. at the time of the collision. The...

Review of Massachusetts Snow Removal Laws and Town Ordinances

By Rich Vetstein Shovel Early and Often! This winter has been one of the snowiest on record, and there is another major snow event on the way. Judging from the astronomical number of recent clicks on this blog, it’s clear that people want to know all about Massachusetts snow removal law...

Mind the Gap! Avoiding Unexpected Gaps in Insurance Programs

By Mary McCutcheon No one insurance policy covers all liability risks. Risk managers expect to purchase several types or layers of insurance to cover different types of insurance liabilities, to provide sufficient limits for a catastrophe loss, or to provide coverage over multiple policy years. They...

How To Maintain A 'Sterling' Reputation With Your Clients: What You Need To Know About CGL Coverage For Unauthorized Recording Claims

By Colin B. Willmott and Jonathan L. Schwartz One of the most remarkable and memorable scandals of 2014 involved Donald Sterling, the longtime owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, who received a lifetime ban from the National Basketball Association. What triggered this scandal? A bigotry-laced audio...

Insurance Broker Was Not Liable for Failing to Timely Tender an Insured’s Claim Because the Policy Would Not Have Covered the Claim Even if it Were Timely Tendered

Ecolite Concrete USA, Inc. v. G.S. Levine Ins. Services, Inc ., 2014 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 9271 (Cal. App. Dec. 31, 2014), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]. In Ecolite Concrete , the California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s ruling that an insurance broker...

Pennsylvania Court Holds Disputed Allegations In Complaint Do Not Negate Duty to Defend

In its recent decision in Navigators Ins. Co. v. Amsterdam , 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64385 (E.D. Pa. May 18, 2015), [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania had occasion to consider whether an insurer can rely on...

Did This Supreme Court Just Change The Bad Faith Landscape? Is The Decision Poised To Have A National Impact?

It is unquestionably one of the most challenging issues to confront an insurer – the demand to settle a claim within the insured’s limits of liability. We all know the drill. An insurer has been defending its insured for a while. The case is coming down to the end and trial is on the horizon...

Update: ALI’s Restatement Of The Law Of Liability Insurance

It has now been nine months since the American Law Institute did a switcheroo and converted its Principles of the Law of Liability Insurance to the Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance. Just a one word change – but an impact that speaks volumes. So what’s been happening with the...

The Myth of Bellefonte No More

By Syed S. Ahmad and Patrick M. McDermott I. Introduction For years, reinsurers have attempted to use the Bellefonte case to cap their liability. Bellefonte has thus served as a thorn in cedents' sides for some time. However, recent court decisions poke holes in the reinsurers' defense...

Supreme Court Allows Discussion Of Insurance In Personal Injury Trial

You know the rule of evidence. Mentioning the availability of insurance, during a personal injury trial, is a big N-O. The rule is designed to prevent prejudice in the verdict, which might result if the jury is aware that an insurance company, and not the defendant, will be responsible for paying the...

California Supreme Court Finds Liability Policies Are Assignable in Some Circumstances

By Andrew B. Downs and Heather J. Zacharia In a sharp U-Turn, the California Supreme Court has decided that rights under liability insurance policies for harm that has already happened are assignable without the insurer's consent. In California, pre-loss assignments without the insurer's...

California Supreme Court: Insureds May Freely Transfer Insurance Rights

In 2003, the California Supreme Court ruled, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], that a company’s contractual transfer of insurance rights to a subsequent purchaser was invalid, as it violated the policy condition against assignments without...

California Joins the Majority – Henkel No Longer a Bar to Post-Loss Assignments

By Jason Frye , Associate, Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP The California Supreme Court has issued its long-awaited ruling in Fluor Corp. v. Superior Court of Orange Co . and held that California Insurance Code section 520 – a statute tracing back to 1872, [subscribers can access an enhanced...